I am under Strong Encouragement to make an appeal for Patrick Califia’s medical needs.
My response: “You mean I can do that? YES PLEASE LET ME OBEY.”
As you probably know, he’s a trans writer-activist-therapist and a great-granddaddy of our community. About a week ago he finally gave his partner permission to explain that he hasn’t been active lately because his medical problems have gotten really serious.
And they’re heartbreaking. For instance, he needs cataract surgery and Medicare won’t help because he’s under 65. And he has uterine fibroids, it’s gotten to the point of intense daily pain, but it’s really hard for transmen to get gynaecological healthcare.
The pain sounds crippling – and I haven’t even reported all of it – but it’s totally treatable. He’s only 60.
This is our chance to help someone who has done so much for our community. To give just one example, the San Francisco Chronicle says he was instrumental in getting lesbian feminists to accept erotica and S&M back in the 70s and 80s. And he did it partly by getting them to say, “Oh my God, this is HOT, let’s NOT ban it.”
Myself, I have been his undying fangirl ever since running into his poetry. Obviously I like that he writes evocatively about my favourite things. But the poems that really knocked me flat were the ones about service and the butch-femme dynamic. Those are things I never thought I’d understand, and Patrick Califia made me feel them from the inside.
And then I found his brilliant chapters on anal fisting and masochism in The Ultimate Guide to Kink. My God, the heart and genius and skill of the man. And I haven’t even read his classic works Sensuous Magic or Macho Sluts.
So I am under Strong Encouragement to write this appeal for medical help. Because of course, the people whom I respect have even greater respect for Patrick Califia, since they know so much more about him.
But the word is not out on FetLife, precisely because Patrick Califia is that much of an old-timer. So please share the GiveForward webpage where you can donate and find out more from his partner? Or the Facebook note by Patrick Califia himself.
Because I think there are so many people who want to help and just don’t know yet. If only because we want more of his amazing books!